“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool” (Hebrews 10:12-13).
Do you know that the practice of a king’s enemies becoming his footstool frequently occurred in Middle Eastern culture? Archaeologists have unearthed footstools with the faces of conquered kings carved into them, which enabled a victorious ruler the pleasure of looking down at his vanquished foes.
The Lord Jesus never minced his words. He told us the truth, but always offered hope even in the midst of the fierce storms of life. When asked about the signs of the end of the age, the Lord replied, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:12-14).
There is a rapid increase of wickedness in the world today, but we encourage you not to be one of those whose love for God grows cold. It’s easy to become cynical at the state of society and at much of what passes under the banner of Christianity, but we must fight against cynicism and press in to the heart of Jesus even more as the days become darker.
The only way to keep our love from growing cold is to be grounded in the Word of God and to daily surrender our lives to the Holy Spirit. The Bible promises: “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:8-10).
When the powers of darkness seem to be closing in and pressure from the world threatens to snuff out your light, it’s crucial to remember that Jesus is the victorious King! He conquered the grave, and “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).
The time is coming when Jesus will receive His mighty inheritance, and He will rule and reign over all the nations of the world. On that day all of His enemies will be made His footstool, and a loud voice in heaven shall declare, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
In the meantime, God’s children must continue to patiently endure as His plans are fulfilled throughout the earth. If you belong to Jesus Christ, do not lose hope! Keep trusting God, and “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay...we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:35-39).
State of the Nations
From time to time we like to present a snapshot of the state of the Gospel throughout Asia. In the following pages we provide a brief overview of nine countries Asia Harvest is working in. The statistics used are the latest from Joshua Project, who define a people group as “unreached” if less than 2 percent of its population are evangelical Christians.
While we have much to thank God for in Asia, the facts and figures are a sobering reminder of how much work remains to be done. Our life’s goal is to reach as many unreached people groups as possible with the salvation of Jesus Christ. We appreciate your prayers and partnership, as together we “look forward to the day of the Lord and speed it’s coming” (2 Peter 3:12).
Population: 1,388.2 million
Non-Christians: 1,279.9 million (92.2%)
All Christians: 108.3 million (7.8%)
People Groups: 550
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 33 people groups in China.
God continues to move powerfully throughout China. The greatest need remains for Bibles and discipleship materials to feed tens of millions of hungry house church believers. Most of China’s ethnic minority groups, however, remain unreached. The Gospel has spread rapidly among the Han Chinese majority, but has encountered strong ethnic, cultural, geographic and language barriers as it struggles to penetrate the more than 450 distinct (non-Han) minority groups in China. Hundreds of groups still lack a vibrant Gospel witness capable of impacting their population.
Population: 1,282.8 million
Non-Christians: 1,254.6 million (97.8%)
All Christians: 28.2 million (2.2%)
Capital: New Delhi
People Groups: 2,234
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 368 people groups in India.
India poses the most complex challenge for the Body of Christ today. Home to more than 2,200 distinct people groups, the Gospel has flourished among some groups, but most remain devoid of spiritual light. India will soon surpass China as the world’s most populated country, but 98 out of every 100 people remain lost and in desperate need of Christ’s salvation.
Population: 29.4 million
Non-Christians: 29.1 million (99.1%)
All Christians: 0.3 million (0.9%)
People Groups: 249
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 53 people groups in Nepal.
Living among the highest mountains on earth, more than 240 distinct tribes and castes inhabit Nepal. There were just 25 known Christians in Nepal in the 1950s, compared to more than 300,000 today. Some tribes have experienced revival in the past 20 years, but over 200 remain relatively untouched by the Gospel. There is much work left to do in Nepal.
Population: 93.8 million
Non-Christians: 84.9 million (90.5%)
All Christians: 8.9 million (9.5%)
People Groups: 118
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 26 people groups in Vietnam.
The Gospel has spread inconsistently in Vietnam, and Protestant Christians make up only about 2% of the population. Most churches are in the south and central provinces, with fewer believers in the north. Dozens of tribes remain completely untouched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray every segment of Vietnam will soon bring glory to the Living God.
Population: 7.2 million
Non-Christians: 7.0 million (97.2%)
All Christians: 0.2 million (2.8%)
People Groups: 136
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 22 people groups in Laos.
Laos is one of Asia’s forgotten countries. Because of its small population, many organizations don’t consider Laos a priority, but it is one of the most ethnically-diverse countries on earth, containing 136 distinct tribes. Only a few dozen groups have a significant Christian presence, while more than 100 remain untouched by the Gospel. Please pray for their salvation.
Population: 54.4 million
Non-Christians: 49.6 million (91.1%)
All Christians: 4.8 million (8.9%)
People Groups: 153
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 13 people groups in Myanmar.
The spread of Christianity in Myanmar is uneven, with some tribes in revival while other areas are full of dead religion. There is a great need for the Scriptures and for discipleship. Please pray the 31 million Buddhist Myen people will soon know the Living God.
Population: 254.2 million
Non-Christians: 221.7 million (87.2%)
All Christians: 32.5 million (12.8%)
People Groups: 779
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 66 people groups in Indonesia.
Indonesia is a paradox. It contains more Muslims than any other country on earth, spread across more than 750 distinct ethnic groups. God has moved powerfully, with more than 30 million Christians throughout Indonesia. With most believers being ethnic Chinese, over 220 people groups remain unreached. Please pray the Name of Jesus will be glorified throughout this large and important country.
Population: 15.9 million
Non-Christians: 15.4 million (96.8%)
All Christians: 0.5 million (3.2%)
Capital: Phnom Penh
People Groups: 42
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 12 people groups in Cambodia.
Cambodia was known as the “killing fields” in the 1970s, but a vibrant and growing church has risen from the ashes of that horrific genocide. While a number of tribes have embraced the Gospel in recent years, most of the 14 million Buddhist Khmer majority have yet to hear about Jesus. Please pray for their salvation.
Population: 159.8 million
Non-Christians: 159.2 million (99.6%)
All Christians: 0.6 million (0.4%)
People Groups: 316
Asia Harvest is helping to reach 43 people groups in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most unreached countries on earth, containing nearly 300 distinct ethnic groups who have yet to trust Jesus Christ. Nine out of ten people in Bangladesh are Muslims. Please pray the fame of the Lord will spread widely to every part of this large and needy land.
We are constantly blessed to read field reports from the hundreds of evangelists we support throughout Asia. One recent report grabbed our attention. In a remote area of Laos (a Communist country sandwiched between China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia), our coworkers came across a village with a demon-possessed man who had been tormented by evil spirits for years. The locals had given up all hope, and had built a thick wooden cage (see picture) to restrain the man and to protect themselves from his violent attacks.
When the evangelists saw the caged man the compassion of the Lord came upon them. They prayed for him in the Name of Jesus, and the dark forces that had bound the man for years were demolished. The change in the man’s life was so dramatic that many villagers demanded to know the God who had done this great miracle. As a result, 34 people accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and are now meeting together in a house church, including the man who had been so wonderfully set free. Hallelujah!
These workers in Laos are among hundreds of Asian evangelists we support through the Asian Workers' Fund. We currently have dozens who need support. We invite you to join us as we help them take the Gospel to the unreached.